Masham is well know in the agricultural world as being the home to the prized Masham breed of sheep which have been bred on the hill farms in the North of England for over a century. They are produced by crossing a Teeswater ram onto either a Dalesbred or Swaledale ewe – both hardy hill breeds. The Masham sheep is popular for being hardy and its good mothering instincts, along with its long wool.
There are 40 farms on the Estate, covering 20,000 acres. Most of them are upland sheep farms, the most popular breed is the Swaledale which copes well with the more challenging climate at high altitude. What makes the farms distinctive is the pattern of small fields, many edged with dry stone walls, which forms the backdrop for the traditional stone houses and small barns that make up the farmsteads. The farms lower down the dale and beside the River Ure occupy an gentler more wooded landscape supporting a mixture of dairy, livestock and arable farming.
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Thank goodness the sun has now come out and we seem to have finally put winter behind us! The Parkland has burst into bloom with clouds of blossom and a colourful carpet of daffodils and bluebells around the trees.
The Walled Garden is also getting going, with bright tulips swaying in the breeze and home grown asparagus bursting forth. Asparagus is at its most delicious when eaten closest to home, so dishes featuring home-grown asparagus are now on all our menus, including the bar and lounge. The garden furniture is out and soon it will be time for afternoon teas on the lawn and evening drinks on the terrace at sunset. English summertime at it’s best.
Please click here if you are making plans for 2013 and want to see our Events and Activities Calendar to book a cookery course, themed lunch or family event. Our inspirational Themed Lunch and Dining Experiences page includes Wine Appreciation Lunches, with talks and tastings led by our new sommelier David Borwick, together with our Gardening Lunches, which include a talk and tour with garden designer Susan Cunliffe-Lister.